The time-honored art of creating Capodimote porcelain has not changed in the course of hundreds of years.
After the design has been approved and finalized, the intricate work of modelling begins. The sculpting of a model in the hands of an artist such as Enzo Arzenton is a joy to behold. The end result is perfection from every angle . . . a treasured memory come to life, evoking the same emotions that inspired our love of these Disney classics.
On a large Laurenz Disney sculpture, the finished model may be broken up into well over a hundred smaller individual molds. These are fired at 1,000 degrees, after which plaster molds are completed for each of the various model parts.
Liquid porcelain, made from a mix of very fine clay and kaolin, with the addition of feldspar and quartz, is then poured into the plaster molds. It is the high content of kaolin which makes the porcelain impermeable and perfectly white and transparent ? this is just one of the many important differences that distinguish the time-consuming process of making porcelain from inexpensive and lighter weight ceramics.
The porcelain is allowed to solidify slightly, then removed while it is still malleable. This damp porcelain is very fragile and requires the most careful handing. The many parts are reassembled and a creamy porcelain called "barbottina" is added at the place of joining and firmly pressed together. The worker uses a wooden tool to smooth out any mold lines. At this point many small details, such as flowers and leaves, are modelled by hand and then placed into position on the sculpture.
The finished piece must be allowed to dry completely before it is once again fired at 1,300 degrees.
At last the detailed painting begins, and a perfect harmony of colors and richness is achieved. Pure gold decoration is applied to the base of the sculpture and it is fired again.
Is it any wonder that in ancient times, porcelain was referred to as "white gold" by virtue of the lengthy production process and painstaking workmanship and artistry.